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Tour route Next section Back to Notre-Dame Est Boulevard Saint-Laurent Rue Notre-Dame West The Old Seminary and Notre-Dame Place d’Armes Rue Saint-Jacques Des Récollets Around Rue de l’Hôpital Rue Saint-Paul, near Place d’Youville Place d’Youville Western end of the Old Port Pointe-à-Callière and Place Royale Saint-Paul and de la Commune From Saint-Amable to Saint-Gabriel Place Jacques-Cartier Eastern end of the Old Bonsecours From Bonsecours to Berri Rue Notre-Dame East Champ-de-Mars

The fortifications...

The town of Montréal in 1731
The town of Montréal in 1731, with the walls under construction, by Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry.







... and came down



Can you imagine it?

Although only the base of the stone walls remains now, they once stood up to 6.4 metres high and stretched for more than three kilometres around the town.

It took more than 20 years, starting in 1717, to erect this double line of defence, designed by Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry, the King's Engineer in New France. At the time, all major French cities were fortified, and Montréal, as a trading post and military base of vital strategic importance in the struggle with the British, was certainly worth protecting!

The inner wall was part of the scarp, and the outer wall formed the counterscarp. The ditch between the two walls was most likely poorly drained, as archaeologists have found bones of frogs, tree frogs, muskrats and turtles there..

The fortifications also included parapet-walks, loopholes to shoot through, posterns (small hidden doors), ramparts and glacis (earthen slope), as well as the town gates.

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Old Montréal

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Last updated: September 2001